NCAA Football

NCAA Bowls Set, Heisman Race, 2010 Year in Review

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No more speculation and what-ifs. Auburn and Oregon will square off for the national championship on January 10 in Glendale. There won't be a whole lot of controversy now that there's only one non-AQ who finds itself snubbed by an unfair and unjust system, but whoever is named champion deserves to stand atop the college football world without a shred of doubt that they're the true champions of college football. The current system does not allow that.

While most would agree that Oregon and Auburn boasted the best resumes and therefore deserve to fight it out in Glendale, no matter what happens in that game, if TCU gets by Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl the mere presence of two undefeated teams throws into doubt the legitimacy of whoever wins the BCS National Championship Game just as it did last year when Boise State finished undefeated and the year before when Utah ran the table. That's not fair to the team who isn't named the champion, nor is it fair to the team who is. A sport should not have multiple undefeated teams at the end of the postseason. It simply doesn't make sense.

Not to take away from the accomplishments of any team that's crowned champion, but college football deserves an undisputed champion and those players and coaches who are ultimately crowned in the current system deserve a system that leaves no doubt that they're the top team in the country. The BCS is all about doubt and debate. Boy, Bill Hancock and Co. have to be rooting hard for Wisconsin, huh?

Recapping in 500 words or less, this is what we learned about the season:

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  • A fourth straight loss to close the season is not how the Wildcats hoped to end a season that began with four straight wins. Arizona became the latest victim of kicking woes as a missed extra point in regulation and in overtime denied the Wildcats the win. Mike Stoops—who built Arizona into what seems a perennial dark horse candidate in the Pac-10—has been mentioned as a coaching candidate in this silly season.
  • West Virginia survived several miscues in the first half to come away with the big win over Rutgers, but their Big East hopes were dashed later that night as UConn came away with the road win over South Florida. Congratulations to the Huskies who are headed to their first ever BCS Bowl Game.
  • As much of an accomplishment as this was for Connecticut, it was a terrible moment for the BCS. The Mountaineers weren't South Florida's biggest fans Saturday night, the BCS brass was. The UConn win sends an 8-4 team to a major bowl ahead of three one-loss teams, four two-loss teams and six three-loss teams (including West Virginia) who are in the BCS rankings. Some may argue they deserve the shot after winning their conference, but one-loss Michigan State won its conference as much as the Huskies and aren't BCS-bound. Bravo, BCS.
  • Oregon State failed to capitalize on Oregon turnovers in the Civil War and that's why they lost that game. When the Ducks give you a gift on their side of the field, you come away with at least three points. You don't throw an interception. If you cannot capitalize on Oregon turnovers and if you turn the ball over yourself, you won't beat the Ducks.
  • South Carolina did not use Marcus Lattimore nearly enough in the SEC Championship Game. He carried just 16 times in total and did not crack 100 yards rushing. If Auburn is able to force third and longs and hold you to less than 50% on third down conversions, they control the game. And the quickest way to lose to the Tigers is to allow Cam Newton's team to control the game.
  • Virginia Tech came out playing defense, capitalizing on turnovers and miscues, and running the ball well. That's a hard combination to contend with, especially when your starting quarterback is on the sidelines. The Seminoles did a good job of keeping it close and didn't have a single penalty all game, but once the second half rolled around the Hokies pulled away with two touchdowns in the third and kept it at least a two-score game the rest of the way. Imagine Virginia Tech's stature this season had they not fallen to James Madison.
  • The Sooners deserved that win after coming back from a 17-0 deficit to bring the halftime score to within three. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe avoided an extremely awkward postgame ceremony with the Oklahoma win over Nebraska—who heads to the Big Ten in 2011.

In leading his team to its eleventh straight win, Tyrod Taylor Proved He's Worth the Hype. Losing to James Madison hurt the Hokies' season in terms of national notoriety, as well as that of the ACC, but eleven straight wins to bring their record to 11-2 and its fourth ACC Championship since joining the conference in 2004 has certainly alleviated a lot of that early season hurt. Taylor finished the ACC Championship Game 18 for 28 for 263 yards and with three touchdown passes. He even rushed for a five yard touchdown, accounting for four of the Hokies' six touchdowns on the night.

For our New Household Name this week, let's look to the MAC Championship Game. Last season, Miami (OH) was 1-11. This season, they're MAC Champions. A big reason for the RedHawks' win over Northern Illinois Friday is freshman quarterbackAustin Boucher, who in the third start of his career passed for 333 yards and a touchdown on 29 of 46 passing and led his team on a game-winning drive to capture the MAC Championship. I'd also like to recognize RedHawks wide receiver Armand Robinson, a senior who caught the winning touchdown pass and came away with 174 yards on 14 receptions.

My Heisman ballot if they let me vote:

Check out RandallSimonsSausages.com every Wednesday for a weekly Heisman poll in which the following will serve as my entry into the poll. The Heisman Trophy pretty much belongs to Cam Newton, but that won't stop the Heisman Trust from putting on its annual ceremony show in New York and the following should be invited to partake.

1. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: The Trophy is essentially his at this point after capping off an already impressive season with a 17 for 28 passing performance for 335 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for 73 yards on 14 carries and scored an additional two touchdowns on the ground, putting his mark on six of the seven Auburn offensive touchdowns.

2. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Kellen Moore had a usual 24 for 34, 237 yards, three touchdowns performance, but he added an uncharacteristic rushing touchdown to his stat line against Utah State. The Broncos may not be headed for a BCS bowl, but Moore is as much a Heisman candidate as anybody in the nation after leading the Broncos to a one-loss season in which he threw for 3,506 yards and 33 touchdowns to just five interceptions.

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: James rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Ducks' Civil War win over Oregon State. His buddy in the backfield, Kenjon Barner, added 133 yards and a touchdown as the Ducks earned the right to play for the BCS National Championship in January.

4. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: TLike most of the nation, Blackmon and the Cowboys were off this weekend as they await their bowl game. He finishes the season with 1,665 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. He caught at least one touchdown pass in every game he's played this season, and has had at least 100 yards receiving in every game he's played.

5. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: Luck may be an outside shot at the Heisman at this point, but he's the odds on favorite to be picked first in next April's NFL Draft. He closes the 2010 season with 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He's just a redshirt sophomore, but he's an underclassman many expect to make the early leap to the NFL.

The only college football game being played this week and weekend is the annual Army vs. Navy game in Philadelphia. It airs on CBS at 2:30 PM ET. Check out the game, but use the free Saturday to knock off a few items on that to-do list before the bowl games begin. - Danny Hobrock

Danny is a sports journalist primarily covering college football and professional baseball. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. Danny is the former editor of a political and current events website and the editor of our college football content.

Email Danny at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at DannyHobrock

 

NCAA Football 2010 Season Previews and NFL 2010 Season Previews

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